Mom feeding child

A gassy toddler is not a happy toddler. Unfortunately, the experience of gassiness and bloating may make your child uncomfortable. This might cause them to act out or express being in pain.

Read on to find out the symptoms of gas problems and the ways of gas relief for toddlers.

 

Symptoms of Gas in Children 

We all have dealt with gas problems, which is a normal part of digestion1. However gassy toddlers may have trouble expressing their discomfort, other than by crying or being fussy.

Parents may watch out for the following symptoms of gassiness in their toddlers:

A gassy toddler may belch or burp excessively2. They may experience abdominal pain, which they may try to express by being fussier than usual, drawing their legs up towards the belly in a display of discomfort, or not eating well3. Pain may be located throughout the belly area, or across half of the stomach4

 

Common Causes of Gas and Bloating in Children

A child becomes a gassy toddler when air is trapped in the gastrointestinal system either because they have been swallowing air, or due to food, drinks, or medications they have been ingesting5.

Swallowing air, which may result from crying for extended periods of time, may cause belching and burping5

Gassiness and bloating can be caused by what your child has been eating. Among foods that cause gas are: 

  • Fried and fatty foods

  • Beans

  • Fruits like bananas, peaches, and prunes 

  • Vegetables like broccoli, onions, green peppers, and cabbage6 

  • Wheat and wheat bran

Some children may have trouble digesting lactose, which is found in milk and cheese. Excess or undigested lactose in the digestive tract may produce gas, resulting in bloating and flatulence7

Some medicines, like antibiotics, also cause gassiness6,8

Gassiness may also be caused by other conditions, such as constipation, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, or gastroenteritis8.

Due to gassiness, the child may experience overall discomfort.

 

Supporting My Child’s Digestion 

There are many ways to deal with a gassy toddler. For the most part, it involves cutting down on food and drinks that cause gassiness. This may help address the problem. However, some foods that may later cause gassiness, such as fruits and vegetables, have many nutritional benefits and should not be entirely removed from the child’s diet8.

Pre-soaking these foods, including rich vegetables and beans, may lessen their ability to form gas2,6.

Introducing certain kinds of probiotics into your child’s diet may also help reduce gassiness. It must be noted however that other kinds of probiotics increase incidences of gas8. Probiotics are live microorganisms that help create a good balance of helpful bacteria in your child’s gut. Probiotics that help lessen gassiness may be found in yogurt and soy beverages8.

In the majority of cases, your gassy toddler will get better on their own8

However you should seek help from a doctor in case your child experiences weight loss along with their gassiness, diarrhea for more than seven days, persistent stomach pain, or is frequently vomiting8.

 

References:

  1. Gas and gas pain (n.d.) Retrieved September 28, 2020 from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gas-and-gas-pains/symptoms-causes/syc-20372709
  2. Gastrointestinal Gas (n.d.). Retrieved October 29, 2020 from  https://www.gikids.org/files/documents/digestive%20topics/english/Gas.pdf
  3. Abdominal pain - children under 12 (October 2020). Retrieved October 29, 2020 from  https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007504.htm
  4. When is a tummy ache not just a tummy ache? (n.d.). Retrieved October 29, 2020 from  https://www.childrenshospital.org/~/media/96bc4724b19241fa9d07275d7ba33fc9.ashx
  5. Gastrointestinal Gas (n.d.). Retrieved October 29, 2020 from  https://www.gikids.org/files/documents/digestive%20topics/english/Gas.pdf
  6. Gas and Bloating in Children: Care Instructions (June 2019). Retrieved October 29, 2020 from  https://myhealth.alberta.ca/Health/aftercareinformation/pages/conditions.aspx?hwid=bz1073
  7. How to Support Your Child’s Delicate Tummy (n.d.). Retrieved October 29, 2020 from  https://www.enfagrow.com.sg/digestion-centre/digestive-issues/fussiness-gassiness/supporting-your-childs-and-his-delicate-tummys-development
  8. Gas (flatulence) (July 2019). Retrieved October 29, 2020 from  https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/article?contentid=822&language=english